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Acceptability and willingness to pay for telemedicine services in Enugu state, southeast Nigeria.

Acceptability and willingness to pay for telemedicine services in Enugu state, southeast Nigeria.

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Acceptability and willingness to pay for telemedicine services in Enugu state, southeast Nigeria.

Digit Health. 2017 Jan-Dec;3:2055207617715524

Authors: Arize I, Onwujekwe O

Abstract
Background: This study examines the level of awareness, acceptability and consumers' willingness to pay (WTP) for telemedicine services using the contingent valuation method (CVM). This work is important as it elicits the value that consumers attach to telemedicine given there is a gap in this knowledge in many sub-Saharan countries such as in Nigeria.
Methods: The study was based on primary data obtained through an interviewer-administered questionnaire of 370 individuals including both males and females from 25 years and over, to collect data on respondents' awareness of, acceptability of, and WTP for telemedicine, using the bidding game question format. A socioeconomic status (SES) index was created, based on information on household assets, and was used to categorize respondents into SES quartiles. The data were analyzed using a combination of descriptive techniques, logistics and the Tobit regression model (Tobit Type 1) methods.
Results: The study found that majority of the people (58.9%) had no knowledge of telemedicine. However, 48.7% of the respondents were willing to pay for telemedicine. The mean WTP for a telemedicine was US$2.04 for each visit. Tobit regression analysis showed that respondents' socioeconomic status (SES) was the main statistically significant variable that explained their WTP for telemedicine.
Conclusion: The study has shown that there is a low-level awareness of and WTP for telemedicine services in Enugu State, South East of Nigeria. The finding of a positive relationship between SES and WTP implies that the poor may not be able to pay for telemedicine and may need government subsidies to be able to benefit from such service. Also, government and their partners need to undertake wide scale campaign before the introduction of telemedicine.

PMID: 29942606 [PubMed]

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